FBLA Takes on Atlantic City’s State Leadership Conference


Emily Becker

An FBLA SLC interview workshop where participants practiced how to put their best foot forward in a interview.

Lakeland Regional High School’s FBLA chapter took on the State Leadership Conference at Harrah’s Hotel in Atlantic City from March 6-8, 2023. LRHS produced several who placed top four in their event, qualifying for the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia this June. 

Depending on their event, students took tests earlier in the year, qualifying themselves for the 2023 State Leadership Conference (SLC). After testing students who placed in their competition, which ranges from many events, can compete at the SLC for their area. The experience can be described as unforgettable with many takeaways. Despite if a student was there to compete, test, or simply receive results, everyone acquired new skills and memories. 

For starters, sophomores Clarissa Kuhn, Emily Kebrdle, and Eva Bodnar-Whetstone competed in the finals for Hospitality and Event Management and placed second overall. The trio took home a significant scholarship prize as well. Kuhn shared with The Ledger that she “had a great time competing with [Kebrdle] and [Whetstone]; [her] favorite part was finding out [they] got second place in [their] event on the bus going back to Lakeland.” 

Senior Tristan Davison also placed first in his event, and sophomore Emily Becker was a finalist in Help Desk at this year’s conference. 

The SLC has an incredible and exciting energy flowing through the room as FBLA chapters take their seats for the awards ceremony. (Emily Becker)

There were numerous workshops offered at the SLC ranging from interview skills to college based seminars. These workshops were done in a timely manner while still offering great opportunities. For example, Kean University had a representative present who discussed all the great things college life offers; as well as how FBLA can prepare you for that next step. It was very informative and allotted time for several questions. 

Kuhn really enjoyed these workshops. Her biggest takeaway was “how important it is to be prepared. By studying individually and as a team before [their] event [they] were able to use [their] business knowledge to answer questions and solve problems.” 

The SLC had fun activities for students to attend after competing. This included bingo, karaoke, and many more affairs. President of LRHS’s FBLA chapter, senior Taylor Dubac, shared that bingo was one of her favorite activities the SLC offered. 

The “Welcome to Atlantic City” sign greets LRHS competitors as they arrive at their hotel. (Emily Becker)

Regardless of the countless learnings FBLA members experienced and took away at this year’s competition, it could not have been done without their incredible advisor, Ms. Tammy Ozdemir. Ms. Ozdemir is beyond dedicated to FBLA and has led to the success of LRHS’s competitors. She was thrilled by the members’ faces after realizing they had won their event. She took away many ideas for next year’s chapter and for years after. However, her biggest goal is to enhance the club in size, creativity, and involvement. The future ahead for LRHS’s FBLA is brighter than ever and the best is yet to come.

Future Business Leaders of America, commonly known as FBLA, is a beneficial chapter with lots to offer. One of the many rewarding aspects of FBLA is that it teaches useful skills, applicable in any career. The club welcomes diverse interests and presents endless opportunities. These include traveling, networking, learning, as well as developing and furthering one’s leadership skills.